Who will rule the USA? Violently opposed camps of established and emerging capitalists are now fighting for state power. Neither group deserves it. Both want it merely to serve their own greedy profit interests. No gang of bosses can govern society in a way that will serve workers. The working class alone, which makes up a crushing majority of the population, must hold power. This goal can be accomplished only through communist revolution. And communist revolution can come about only under the leadership of a Party such as the PLP.

Every day brings more turmoil among the rulers. Politicians engage in worse than usual backbiting and mudslinging. Militia members plot and terrorize. The White House comes under investigation. Scandals rock the armed forces. Businesses ferociously attack one another. Sharpening antagonisms underlie and unite these seemingly unrelated events. Newer capitalists are stepping up their bid to grab power from older capitalists; armed conflict becomes a possibility. The Old Guard retaliates ruthlessly against its domestic enemies and, at the same time, moves closer and closer to war in the Middle East.

We need to appreciate fully the nature of the current period and understand its specifics. War and fascism are developing rapidly. Our party’s work must conform to this reality. Workers’ lives and the future of the communist movement depend on it.

In the midst the bosses’ conflicts, we must not fall into the trap of viewing the major capitalists as the "lesser evil." We have all seen pictures of the anti-government, petty capitalist militias training in the woods. But we should also bear in mind the 300,000 acres of California desert the US Army has acquired to prepare for Exxon’s next Mideast massacre. We have seen the callous ruthlessness of Gingrich & Co.’s "Contract on America." But we should never forget the millions of workers thrown onto the streets or into bondage by racist liberal Clinton’s slave labor welfare "reform."

Relying on "progressive" segments of the capitalist class is lethal to the communist movement. The "United Front" approach helped undo revolutions in Russia and China and stopped many others before they got off the ground. No such "lesser evil" capitalist exists. Bill Clinton is no better than Newt Gingrich or Dick Armey. The victims of Colin Powell and Timothy McVeigh are equally dead. We must see both sets of bosses as our enemy.

How does the present analysis apply to our day-to-day party building? Let’s look at a specific example. Those of us who work in schools are bound to be caught up in the controversy that sets Christian fundamentalists and "school choice" advocates against Clinton’s push for national standards and improved schools. The people we work with cannot reject the profit system unless they see what drives the reformers. The bigger capitalists need better trained cadre to compete with foreign rivals, in the marketplace today, on the battlefield tomorrow. Exposing Clinton’s calls for standards as a war cry can be an important organizing tool among students, parents, and workers in the schools. In the military, it is not enough for us to attack the openly racist and male supremacist forces. They, in fact, serve the smaller group of bosses. We must also, and mainly, combat the major bosses who for their own ruthless self-interest are trying to tone down overt racism and attacks on women within the ranks. Understanding that the Establishment wants an all-inclusive, effective, cohesive military that can fight World War III helps guide our work. On the job, it’s necessary but insufficient to expose the demagoguery of open fascists like Pat Buchanan. Unless we also unmask the "new" AFL-CIO Sweeney leadership as Rockefeller puppets, we will fall into a deadly reformist trap.

On one side of the struggle among billionaires stand the owners of old-line corporations like Exxon, Mobil, General Motors, General Electric, AT&T, IBM, Chase Manhattan, Citicorp, and the larger Wall Street houses. For most of this century, they have dominated the economy and controlled all the governmental means of coercion: lawmaking, the courts, the police, and armed forces. But newer industrialists want power now. And they have interests that clash head on with the Establishment’s, especially its need for a massive Mideast oil war. The struggle takes many forms. It rages in the world of business, on Capitol Hill, in the Pentagon. The Oklahoma bombing opened yet another front.


The old-line firms operate internationally and face intensifying competition from Asian and European rivals. They require a government that has the outlook of ruling the world, one willing to risk working class GIs’ lives anywhere in their search for maximum profits. The more powerful capitalists must have a tax structure sufficient to fuel their vast war machine. The Establishment also demands stable economic growth and low inflation. The former keeps potential rivals down; the latter ensures that Old Money’s vast investments won’t be repaid in worthless dollars. While it pillages the rest of the world, Old Money jealously hoards domestic resources for itself under the guise of environmentalism.

The Rockefeller family and the companies it controls lead the Establishment. John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly spawned oil giants Exxon, Mobil, Amoco, and Chevron. The family’s fortune underpins Chase Manhattan, Citicorp, and many "non-profit" institutions. Rockefeller influence reaches the highest levels of government. Bill Clinton was a protégé of Winthrop Rockefeller. David Rockefeller discovered Jimmy Carter. Henry Kissinger was an employee of Nelson Rockefeller, who became vice president himself. Hundreds of other old, wealthy, mainly Eastern, families--DuPonts, Mellons, Whitneys, Cabots, and Dukes, to name a few--and the huge corporations they own make up the Establishment. Their control of finance capital and the apparatus of the state let them lord it over smaller bosses.


But New Money capitalists, clustered around the domestic energy business, are grabbing market share from the Old Guard in key areas. To battle the Establishment in Washington, they have taken over much of the Republican Party. The Republicans’ top donors, the Kochs of Wichita, Kansas, currently marshal New Money’s forces. Their wealth comes from Koch Industries. Largely by stealing oil from the Osage tribe in Oklahoma, David Koch and his brother Charles built up the firm their father had founded into the second largest family-owned company in the US, with over $20 billion in yearly sales of oil, gas, coal, and chemicals. Koch’s Oil Patch allies include Pennzoil, Coastal, the Hunt family, and a host of natural gas producers.

Oil companies by themselves, however, do not exclusively make up New Money. Many up and coming firms have interests that coincide with those of the Oil Patch. They seek to curtail government interference and want tax laws that will let them amass wealth quickly. Microsoft typifies the high-tech firms uniting with the Oil Patch. Its founders own and run it. With spectacular revenues that permit it to maintain "no material long-term debt," as its financial statements boast, Microsoft stays free of the bankers. Intel falls into the same category. (Not coincidentally, Intel has on its board the chairman of British Petroleum, the number one producer of crude in the US) The owners of thousands of relatively young businesses large and small, tired of having their earnings confiscated by the IRS for the big boys’ benefit, consider their interest linked to the Kochs’.


When New Money ventures abroad to escape regulations that stifle it at home, it unites with Rockefeller enemies. The Coastal oil firm of Texas, under fire from the feds for pollution and discrimination, bought Iraq’s first supertanker load of crude when US-imposed sanctions were eased in late 1996. After rebel Laurent Kabila took over the Congo and broke diamond and gold contracts with the old-line Anglo-American cartel, Pat Robertson rushed in waving wads of cash he had fleeced from his televangelism flock. Hunt Oil had substantial dealings with Libya’s Khaddafi before US warplanes tried to kill him.

Bibi Netanyahu’s Israel is for now the upstarts’ most lucrative foreign outpost. Netanyahu provides highly-skilled, poorly-paid Russian workers to the high-tech industry under a strict "No Arabs Allowed" policy. Intel’s $1.6 billion semiconductor plant employing 1,500 at Kiryat Gat represents the largest single private investment in Israel. Rupert Murdoch owns the biggest research and development firm in Bibi’s segregated Jerusalem. Unlike earlier leaders, Netanyahu rejects Israel’s traditional role as a watchdog for US Big Oil’s Mideast operations.

Netanyahu’s ties to US "ultraconservatives" run deep. When Netanyahu became prime minister, the first American he spoke to was Trent Lott. Clinton, sorely disappointed by the Israeli election results, had to wait. Arthur Finkelstein, the political consultant who had helped re-elect Jesse Helms, directed Netanyahu’s campaign. In early 1997, it was clear that Bibi’s attacks on Arabs were sabotaging Rockefeller, Inc.’s designs for the region. The Christian Coalition placed a full-page ad in the New York Times defending his push for an Arab-free Jerusalem. Another link lies in Newt Gingrich’s wife’s role as an officer of the Israel Economic Development Corporation. The IEDC raises money in the US for investment in projects like a new, state-of-the-art high-tech manufacturing plant in the Negev Desert.


Oil is not the only point of conflict between Old Money and New, but its importance to capitalism makes it the chief one. The main section of US capital has two compelling reasons for making control of Mideast oil at the expense of the Oil Patch its top priority. In the first place, Middle Eastern oil costs less. And the Establishment’s factories need cheap energy to compete globally. A report on national energy policy the Clinton administration released in 1996 said, "the US economy realizes hundreds of billions of dollars in benefits annually by using relatively low cost imported oil rather than relying on more expensive domestic sources of energy." So imports now make up more than half of US consumption. The second reason is the tremendous leverage a grip on Persian Gulf oil gives US multinationals over their foreign rivals. Two thirds of Exxon’s earnings come from producing oil overseas and selling it in Europe and Japan. But the Rockefeller camp’s grip on the Mideast is slipping. So it is beefing up its Gulf forces for a massive invasion to retake the oil fields. Iraq appears the first likely target.


Because there’s nothing in it for them, the Oil Patch decries the Old Guard’s imperialism. It complains that, even now before the shooting has started, the Pentagon’s permanent presence in the Mideast amounts to a $90-dollar-a-barrel subsidy to the likes of Exxon and Mobil. A full-scale land war would carry an astronomical price tag. Early in 1997, a delegation of Republican senators from Alaska, Montana, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Utah, states that produce oil, gas, coal, and uranium, took a look at the war preparations: ''I was just aghast when I saw what was going on, in terms of planning, by the expansion of Aviano (Air Base in Italy), expansion of the Kuwait deployment, the expansion of the deployment in Saudi Arabia, without any consultation with us,'' said Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska (AP, 3/30/97). A 1996 policy paper from the Cato Institute, a think tank founded and funded by the Kochs, proclaimed "The United States has no interests to justify the risks and costs of attempting to manage Persian Gulf security. Washington should withdraw US troops."

Cheap imported oil means high profits for larger US industries, but it threatens the independents’ survival as capitalists. Rice University of Houston published The Oil Makers in 1995, a collection of interviews with independent oil bosses. In it, Pennzoil’s founder Hugh Liedtke said, "The gradual deterioration of any kind of regulation on the price of incoming crude...is the principal cause of the deterioration of the domestic industry. Various areas of the country have axes to grind. It’s a modern version of the Civil War. The Northeast wants cheap fuel oil and cheap natural gas to run their industry and heat their homes" (p. 32). The war is causing the Southwestern bosses staggering casualties. Imports of oil from the Persian Gulf surged more than 600 percent from 1985 to 1989. Employment in oil and gas dropped from 708,000 in 1982 to 354,000 ten years later. In 1981 an average of 4,500 rigs searched for oil and gas in the US. Today the rig count stands at 966 and is falling.

Liedtke gets close to the heart of the conflict when he protests "the cost of keeping the Army, Navy, and Air Force in the Mideast, keeping Israel armed to the teeth, and providing arms to other nations in that area." But it’s not just to protect the majors’ low cost oil wells that the Pentagon stations 50,000 troops permanently in the Middle East. The US threat is also meant to rein in competitors, like the French, Japanese, Russian, and Chinese firms now developing Iraq’s and Iran’s petroleum infrastructure. There is one overriding reason why the Pentagon will keep a presence in the Gulf at any cost. The bigger US bosses need to control the flow of capitalism’s lifeblood to their foreign rivals.

What the Oil Patch tycoons want most is to open up Alaska, particularly the Arctic Natural Wildlife Refuge, for oil drilling. Whenever the smaller oil barons try to expand production there, the big boys swat them down. The Supreme Court in 1997 squashed $1 billion in drilling projects by deciding that Alaska’s coastal waters fell under federal, not state, jurisdiction. Laws inspired by the Rockefeller-backed environmental movement keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge off-limits to the wildcatters. The publicity the Establishment media lavished on the Exxon Valdez incident galvanized public opinion against further development in Alaska. And much of the multi-billion-dollar fine that Exxon paid for the spill now goes to enforcing anti-drilling environmental laws in the state (New York Times, 9/11/97).


The environmental movement, comprising the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, Worldwatch Institute, and others, receives $40 million a year from foundations set up by three families: the Pew Charitable Trusts, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, and several Rockefeller family funds. The Pews founded Sunoco; Citgo made the Joneses rich; the Rockefellers inherited the greatest and bloodiest oil fortune in history. These "friends of the Earth" have been raping it (and killing workers in the bargain) for more than a century with their oil spills, toxic waste, and strip mines. Clinton’s Environmental Protection Agency, however, prefers to target Koch Industries with over 300 pending indictments for pollution. In 1996 it hit the Kochs with the largest fine--$55 million--ever levied under the Clean Water Act.

Every year Worldwatch publishes an influential book-length report called State of the World. According to its editors, "the idea for State of the World originated in a discussion with Larry Rockefeller....We are pleased to have received core funding support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Winthrop Rockefeller Trust." Donald Hodel, however, the Oklahoma energy baron who recently became president of the Christian Coalition, finds such good works uncharitable, "They raise more money each year to spend on environmental issues than the two major parties spend on presidential elections every four years. The law right now is on the side of the extreme environmentalists, and that’s a ‘good reason’ you can’t open the ANWR" (The Oil Makers, p. 342).

The Oil Patch gang retaliate with their own self-serving philanthropies. In 1977, Charles Koch founded the Cato Institute in Washington, DC, a think-tank to rival Old Money’s Council on Foreign Relations and Brookings Institution. The Koch family has been its chief financial support ever since, having given it over $21 million The Cato Institute employs four dozen scholars who churn out books and articles that favor the New Money barons. Making use of op-ed pages, television appearances, speakers’ tours, and news conferences, the institute boasts of generating "ideas that find their way into legislative proposals." One way is through House majority leader Dick Armey of Texas, who works closely with Cato.

The Cato Institute’s program defies the domination of US policy by the likes of Mobil and Chase Manhattan. It counts among its "major areas of emphasis:" opposing government efforts to regulate the energy industry; demonstrating the counterproductivity of most business regulation; challenging environmental claims; promoting a policy of strategic independence and nonintervention; and exploring alternatives to the Federal Reserve System. Cato has published such studies as: "Time to End the Alaskan Oil Export Ban" and "The Futility of Raising Tax Rates." Koch foundations pumped $9.3 million into Citizens for a Sound Economy, "now an important weapon in the assault on government interference in business" (Nation, 8/26/96).


Many of the tax reforms in the Republican’s 1997 budget bills were forged in Koch’s policy foundries. "In an October 1995 monograph on the capital-gains proposal in the Contract With America, the Cato Institute argued that the proposal would unlock hundreds of billions of dollars in property and other assets that investors have held onto" New York Times, 8/22/96). Lowering the tax on capital gains (profits) by 30% benefits bosses on their way up trying to accumulate capital. Microsoft’s top lobbyist Grover Norquist "applauded the cuts in capital-gains taxes and a planned decrease in estate taxes" ( Investor’s Business Daily, 6/10/97) because his boss Bill Gates will have less of his multi-billion dollar bonanza confiscated by the IRS.

New and Old Money expend countless dollars and immeasurable effort on electoral politics. Not only does each camp want to control law-making for itself, but holding power requires a mass base in the working class. It’s true that millions of workers don’t vote. But millions of others do. And millions of workers, voters and non-voters, are influenced by one party or another through organizations as diverse as the AFL-CIO, the NRA, NOW, and churches of all denominations. After winning broad support and many seats in Congress in the 1994 "Gingrich Revolution," the upstarts are now locked in a struggle for the Republican Party.


In March 1996, the Council for National Policy met in Orlando, Florida, to set the agenda for the conservative wing of the GOP Texas oil millionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt had founded the CNP in 1981, as Eastern banks, led by Citicorp, were hounding him into bankruptcy. Its current members include heavy-hitting power brokers Trent Lott, Jesse Helms, and Dick Armey. Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson of the Christian Coalition belong. Grover Norquist, Microsoft’s top lobbyist, and Don Hodel, the outspoken Oklahoma energy mogul, play key roles. Funding for the CNP comes from the Coors family, who want to sink their brewery billions into oil exploration but are blocked by environmental regulations. Howard Ahmanson also contributes heavily. His bank, Home Savings, lends to homeowners in California and has cleaned up on the energy and high-tech booms there. Home Savings shares two directors with El Paso Natural Gas.

After a keynote speech on "Why Government is Becoming Obsolete," the group took up obvious concerns like foreign policy and tax reform. But then it addressed partial-birth abortion and "the President and Military Personnel." According to Whatever It Takes, journalist Elizabeth Drew’s account of the 1996 campaigns, bible-thumper Reed developed the abortion plank as a way to win Catholics and broaden the ultraconservatives’ appeal. "Partial-birth is the issue on which there is the most consensus," said the pragmatic preacher, (p.161). And it is now clear that the Oil Patch sparked the firestorms over adultery in the military that would later trouble Clinton.


Not only had the Oil Patch-California axis gained the upper hand over the Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party; it had also bested the Buchanan forces. Patrick Buchanan represents yet another sector of US capital, manufacturers who stand to lose their shirts from Clinton’s free trade drive, those whose factories and farms are bound to US soil. A South Carolina textile tycoon named Roger Milliken forked over $2.1 million to the Buchanan campaign. Milliken knows that he could never compete with cloth made by virtual slave labor in Asia. Calling for high tariffs on imported manufactured goods and immigration restrictions to "protect US-born workers’ jobs," goals not necessarily shared by the Koch camp, Buchanan garnered 3 million primary votes. Eventually, however, textile proved weaker that energy and high-tech.

The CNP met again in San Diego in August just before the GOP convention there. The Koch family had become the party’s biggest donors. Throughout that summer, Norquist and Reed functioned for all intents and purposes as chairmen of the Republican Party. Meeting in weekly strategy sessions, as Drew reports (p.11), they hit on a plan to unite rank and file members of the Christian Coalition, the National Rifle Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, and other groups into a "Leave Us Alone" coalition directed by New Money. Koch Industries bankrolled NFIB events in San Diego ( p. 112). Norquist found time in his busy schedule to speak at the convention of the Koch-funded Libertarian Party, a Libertarian press release reveals.


In June 1997, Donald Hodel became president of the Christian Coalition, blowing its religious cover completely. The only sermon Hodel had ever preached was the anti-Rockefeller creed of the independent oil and gas producers. He had fought their fight as Reagan’s interior secretary and Bush’s energy secretary. Hodel sits on the boards of directors of several energy companies, including the huge Columbia Gas system. In 1994, he co-authored Crisis in the Oil Patch, a book-length attack on environmental regulations, the Alaska oil drilling ban, Big Oil’s Mideast investments, and the government’s undying support for them. In the 1996 elections, the Christian Coalition went from pew to pew seeking votes for Koch’s apostles. "With almost 2 million members and an annual budget of some $30 million, it is now acknowledged to be perhaps the most influential single faction in Republican Party politics. The organization distributed some 45 million voter guides just before last November's elections through a network of 125,000 churches. In many congressional districts it has become virtually impossible to get elected without the support of its members" (Reuters, 6/11/97).


The Democrats were just as busy enticing workers into the Rockefeller camp with liberal bait. Clinton forces worked through the AFL-CIO, the National Education Association (a non-AFL-CIO teachers’ union), the National Abortion Rights League, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters. Unions offer workers minor concessions that mask capitalism’s atrocities. While the AFL-CIO and Clinton were celebrating a small hike in the minimum wage, AT&T, GM, and the rest continued to slash better-paying jobs by the millions.

Labor unions represented 20% of the delegates at the Chicago convention (Drew, p. 141). Like the conservative GOP, pro-Rockefeller unions took a grass roots approach to the campaign. The AFL-CIO enlisted shop stewards to get out the vote . Winning seats in Congress took second place to winning the hearts and minds of the workers. "The AFL-CIO targeted not anti-labor politicians per se but districts with many union members" (p. 73). One of those was Seattle-Tacoma in Washington State, "the epicenter of the fight over control of the House" (p. 186). The allegiance of Boeing workers will be critical for Rockefeller & Co. in the coming war. The Democrats managed to unseat arch-"conservative" Randy Tate in that race. Down but not out, Tate has since become chairman of the Christian Coalition.


About a month before the election, conservatives leading the Republican Party decided to abandon candidates Dole and Kemp because they were too close to the Old Money forces that had once run the GOP Dole’s policy of "tolerance" on abortion betrayed his loyalties. A decade earlier, Charles Koch had pegged Dole as "just another Establishment pragmatic politician with no moral principles" (The Nation, 8/26/96). Koch knew Dole’s ethics well. Payoffs from Koch had often bought Dole’s help in legislative matters. "Conservative" GOP leaders forced Dole to give up his Senate seat and then spent their time and money getting true believers elected to the House and Senate. At the time of the convention a clairvoyant article in Business Week (9/26/96) noted the Koch faction’s frustration, "For now, they’re stuck with Bob Dole and Jack Kemp, candidates they don’t completely trust. But as they look to the next millennium, they are bent on remaking a Republican Party in their image. A party that Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, and Corporate America won’t recognize as their own."


Now even Newt Gingrich, standard bearer for Contract With America, has fallen victim to the purge. In July 1997, a cabal of Republican representatives led by Dick Armey, Tom DeLay, and Bill Paxon tried to oust Gingrich from his post as Speaker of the House. In their eyes, Gingrich had betrayed the Oil Patch’s cause by "caving in" to Clinton on Establishment- sponsored bills like Nafta, the $50 billion bailout of Mexico, and the chemical weapons treaty (this treaty provides for direct US and UN monitoring of the petrochemical industry). All three would-be assassins earned a rating of zero, of a possible 100, from Rockefeller’s League of Conservation Voters. Armey is recognized as the Cato Institute’s closest collaborator in the House. DeLay has made energy deregulation his life’s work--along with lowering taxes on profits. Paxon in many ways personifies New Money’s expansion into territory once held by the enemy. Through his district run several of the gas pipelines that enable Koch’s eastward onslaught. And Paxon appeals to Catholic voters, reflecting New Money’s desire to broaden beyond its traditional Protestant base. Although Gingrich remains, Business Week (8/25/97) foresees Paxon replacing him in 1998.

But the Establishment has no intention of yielding the GOP to its enemies. On the heels of the plot on Gingrich came the standoff between Bill Weld and Jesse Helms. Weld of Massachusetts demanded that Helms of North Carolina take action on his appointment as ambassador to Mexico. Helms claimed that Weld’s support for the medicinal use of marijuana made him unfit for a job that involved stemming drug traffic. But even the most obtuse media pundits could see that Mexico and drugs had nothing to do with the matter. This was a fight for control of the Republican Party. Weld proclaimed, "I am not Senator Helms’s kind of Republican." He certainly isn’t. Weld’s money is so old that his ancestors gave some of it to Harvard in the 1630s. The Wall Street brokerage Weld’s grandfather founded, White Weld, now forms part of the Merrill Lynch empire. Weld’s policies are indistinguishable from Clinton’s and Gore’s: reduce the budget by cutting social programs but retain a liberal cover on issues like abortion and the environment. The Rockefeller wing of the GOP seems to be grooming Weld for a run at the White House in 2000.


At present, the battle for the most powerful post in the state apparatus—the Presidency-- currently plays out in an endless torrent of scandals and investigations. Understanding which side the various attacks on Clinton are coming from is critical. On one hand, Murdoch’s press sensationalizes sex allegations Paula Jones made to the ultra-"conservative," Coors-funded American Spectator. On the other, federal courts and congressional campaign reform committees seek to divorce the presidency from all kinds of small-fry capitalists, whether the name is Huang, Riady, or McDougal. New Money wants to weaken Clinton’s control. The Rockefellers want to make sure that their creature keeps on serving them and them alone.

Bill Clinton comes from the small town of Hope, and he has loyalties to Tyson, Wal-Mart, Arkla gas, and other Arkansas capitalists, but he owes his political soul to the Eastern Establishment. When Winthrop Rockefeller arrived in Arkansas in the 1950's, he brought New York-based International Paper with him. Clearcutting on 800,000 acres and running a mill at Pine Bluff that spews out 2 million tons of chemicals a year, IP soon became the state’s worst polluter. As governor, Clinton helped the timber barons plunder the Arkansas countryside by asking no more than voluntary compliance with lenient environmental regulations.

IP rewarded Clinton first by setting up the Whitewater deal, in which the Clintons got to buy at half price riverfront property the paper company once owned. Then IP started pouring funds into the Democratic Leadership Council, a collection of young anti-labor hacks that Old Money was grooming for national office. The DLC played a key role in launching Clinton from Little Rock to the White House. Banking and railroad heiress Pamela Harriman headed fundraising for the 1992 campaign.

Clinton has performed invaluable services for Wall Street financiers, who need a stable dollar. He has reduced the deficit through budget cuts like the recent welfare massacre, preserved low inflation by keeping tens of millions out of work, and maintained productivity levels by allowing wave upon wave of wholesale firings. But chasing the fast buck, turning Lincoln’s bedroom into a Motel 6 for the newly rich, and dishing out favors to Arkansas cronies displease Clinton’s Establishment masters. Most of the Little Rock crowd have left Washington in disgrace or a coffin. Agriculture secretary Mike Espy got the ax for giving chicken king Tyson tax breaks. Long gone, too, are Vince Foster and the rest of the Rose law firm that accompanied Clinton to the White House.


Before their buyout of the Republicans, the Kochs tried to insinuate themselves into government through the Libertarian Party. The Kochs virtually purchased the party in the late 1970's, and David Koch ran as its vice-presidential candidate in 1980. Charles Koch picked Libertarian Party chairman Ed Crane to head the Cato Institute. Although the Libertarians won only 3% of the national vote and about 170 local offices, they deeply influenced many people.

The Libertarians’ ideology and organization link the Kochs’ stance against government interference to the massacre of 168 people in the Oklahoma federal building. Invigorated by the Kochs’ cash injections, Libertarians hatched the militia movement. A typical Libertarian candidate, David Bergland, vowed to abolish the CIA, FBI, IRS, Social Security, and public schools. If citizens wanted national defense, he said, they could band together and contract for it voluntarily. John Walker, who ran for Congress as a Libertarian in 1992, formed the San Diego militia. In 1996, Oklahoma bomber Terry Nichols’s brother defended the militia movement at meeting of the Michigan Libertarian Party. Making it clear that they deplore the Feds more than the massacre, the Libertarians’ official comment on the blast began, "The tragic bombing in Oklahoma City should not be used as an excuse by the government to restrict civil liberties." The militias may prove to be the crude beginnings of a New Money army.


Koch & Co. and the militias have the same enemies, Big Oil and Establishment banks. "The Mountaineer Militia considered waging ‘holy war’ on the government, with Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as top targets, FBI affidavits show. The assassination revelations came in the case of seven militia members charged in October with plotting to bomb the FBI's national fingerprint records center in West Virginia" (AP, 6/13/97).

On June 20, 1997 the New York Times, the Establishment’s foremost newspaper, printed an op-ed piece by A.M. Rosenthal. It warned Clinton to curb the militias before they tore the nation apart. "At least 858 groups, including 380 armed ‘militias,’ were active in 1996 -- a 6 percent increase since before Oklahoma City. They operate in every state, according to Klanwatch, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala....Nothing has been done that diminishes the vivid likelihood that these gangs will carry out or inspire other bombings in other cities." Comprehending the threat to his Old Money bosses, Rosenthal pulls no punches. He uses the language of civil war. "There has been not much leadership from the President against armed racism and rebellion....They call themselves militia and patriots. But they are exactly what a prosecutor said about Timothy McVeigh -- traitors."


Growing economic power emboldens the Oil Patch to commit treason in the face of the Establishment’s counterattacks. Koch runs the largest network of oil and gasoline pipelines in the US, twice the size of second-place Amoco’s system. Six New Money companies--Hodel’s Columbia, El Paso, Coastal, Occidental, Williams, and Koch--own 77% of the nation’s natural gas pipeline mileage. Of the big players in gas lines, only two, second-place Enron and eighth-place Duke Power, represent Old Money. Old-line Tenneco once held fourth place, but, short of cash, it had to sell its pipelines to El Paso for $1 billion in 1996.

"Conservative" lawmakers have transformed the gas and electric energy industry through deregulation. As they dismantle the rules that guaranteed the big utilities monopolies in gas distribution, New Money outfits are making great inroads into the domains of the Old Guard. Coastal has in the works a $320 million pipeline that will bring gas to Boston. Columbia’s $600 million Millennium line will supply New York City. Deregulation let Koch capture Bay State Gas in Massachusetts and Connecticut Natural Gas as outlets in 1995. These moves directly challenge Establishment bigwigs like Boston’s aristocratic Cabots, who until recently had an absolute lock on the region’s gas business. The upstarts are also fighting their way into electric power. "Calenergy, a large independent power producer, announced?that it had begun a hostile attempt to buy New York State Electric and Gas Corp. a utility that serves 804,000 customers in upstate New York. The bid is aimed in part at giving Calenergy a base in the Northeast to sell its electricity as states like New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts move toward opening their utility markets to competition, allowing customers to choose their power suppliers" (NYT, 7/22/97). Based in Omaha, Calenergy "has thrived by being unregulated." In September 1997, NYSEG successfully beat back the hostile takeover bid, but the war is far from over.

Microsoft, with Intel by its side, continues its conquest of huge sectors of the high-tech market. Bill Gates just threw a $150 million lifeline around the neck of Apple, its lone rival in operating systems. But the Establishment is mounting a counteroffensive. The New Yorker profiled anti-Microsoft champion John Doerr in its August 11, 1997, issue. A venture capitalist deeply involved in Democratic politics, "Bill Clinton and, more frequently, Al Gore seek his counsel." Doerr "is often characterized as a stealth challenger to Bill Gates--as the ringleader of a coalition of Silicon Valley firms that are out to thwart Microsoft’s quest for global hegemony." The money Doerr raises for firms including Sun and Netscape is decidedly old. The article opens with Doerr chatting up investors at Morgan Stanley’s New York offices. Later it specifies university endowments as another main source of Doerr’s war chest. His partner is newspaper heir William Randolph Hearst III.


As the upstarts gain strength, the Old Guard concentrates its forces with the full blessing of Clinton’s regulatory agencies. The takeover of Dean Witter by Morgan Stanley and of Salomon Brothers by the Travelers Group signal the beginning of a merger frenzy that will leave investment capital in the hands of a few Establishment firms. Chase Manhattan and Merrill Lynch are contemplating a marriage that would make the new firm the third largest bank in the world, the object being both to compete with Germany and Japan and to further the Establishment’s control of finance in the US Other mergers aim at driving New Money out of the arms trade. Boeing has swallowed up McDonnell-Douglas and Rockwell’s military business. Raytheon has bought Hughes and Texas Instruments. These buyouts, planned in part by the Pentagon, ensure that only Old Money companies will make warplanes and missiles for the coming oil war.

Union Pacific Resources’ hostile bid for Pennzoil shows Old Money trying to destroy one of its Oil Patch foes by exploiting its weakness in the international arena. Needing like all emerging capitalists to grow or die, Pennzoil invested heavily in exploring the newly found ocean of oil beneath the Caspian Sea. But, without the clout of an Exxon, Pennzoil dealt as a junior partner with European, Japanese, and Russian firms, which would ultimately control the flow of the oil. Rockefeller & Co. cannot let these strategic assets pass into enemy hands. So it enlisted Union Pacific to wipe Pennzoil out.


Pennzoil was founded by Hugh Liedtke, a life-member of the All-American Wildcatters Club of Houston, and a partner of George Bush in his Texas oil prospecting days. Liedtke longed "to build an American oil company large enough to rival the huge, international conglomerates" (Steve Coll, The Taking Of Getty Oil, 1987, p. 245). The conglomerates, however, had other ideas and the state power with which to enforce them. A Federal court awarded Getty Oil to Texaco when Pennzoil tried to buy it up in the 1980s. Pennzoil got $3 billion in damages, but had to stay in the minor leagues. By 1994, Pennzoil had stealthily built up an 8.9% stake in Chevron. The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department stopped that takeover dead by fining Pennzoil $2.3 million for non-disclosure. Union Pacific Resources, on the other hand, was spun off in 1996 by the Union Pacific Railroad, one of the Establishment’s oldest war-horses. To this day the Rockefeller family and New York’s aristocratic Brown Brothers Harriman bank dominate ownership of the railroad. The offspring didn’t stray. Boston’s Fidelity, a Brahmin-run investment house, owns the largest block of Union Pacific Resources’ stock.

On July 7, 1997, Union Pacific sent Pennzoil shareholders a letter urging them to sell. "It charges that Pennzoil has wasted $3.0 billion received in a settlement from Texaco, that it may not be able to afford to develop its prize overseas assets in the Caspian Sea and that UPR has done a better job of managing its assets than Pennzoil. Union Pacific also demanded to know how Pennzoil's involvement in the Karabakh offshore field in the Caspian would be funded, given the lack of pipeline capacity and the capital needed to fund the project" (Reuters, 7/10/97).


The Eastern bankers are really objecting to Russia’s complete control of the deal. A consortium of Russia’s Lukoil and Italy’s Agip holds 62.5% to Pennzoil’s 30%. All oil produced in the landlocked region would have to be shipped in Russian pipelines, over Russian territory, guarded by Russian troops. UPR complains that whatever Pennzoil invests in Karabakh it hands to Moscow on a silver platter. Reuters says, "the company also questioned whether Pennzoil had the finances to fund its domestic and international exploration and production programmes, noting that Pennzoil had sold stakes in some of its most highly leveraged fields in Azerbaijan. Pennzoil sold half of its stake in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli block earlier this year for $130 million, leaving it with a 4.8 percent stake in Caspian Sea project."

These fields lie within the region Exxon itself is desperate to develop as a future replacement for Persian Gulf sources. What angers the Rockefeller camp is that Pennzoil at first tried to sell the stake to the Japanese. On April 2, 1996, Pennzoil issued a press release stating, "Itochu will pay Pennzoil approximately $132 million in cash for a 5 percent interest in the ACG unit. James L. Pate, Pennzoil's chairman and chief executive officer, said, ‘This is a tremendous

opportunity for the company and its shareholders. We are pleased to have Itochu join us in developing Azerbaijan's vast hydrocarbon potential.’" Old Money was less pleased. A Pennzoil press release dated July 30, 1997, suggests that serious strong-arming had gone on the meantime. "Split of the 5 percent share includes 3.0006 percent to Exxon; 1.4705 percent to Itochu; and 0.5289 percent to Unocal," it said. Rockefeller had snatched the lion’s share from the Japanese. Now the more powerful faction, weary of chastising Pennzoil on a case-by-case basis, seeks to eliminate it. If the Old Guard win, the Oil Patch will be forced to step up their fight for survival on every front: economic, political, and military. Pennzoil could win this battle only by finding a "White Knight." France’s Total or Elf might come to the rescue. But that outcome would plant on US soil the bitterest rivals of Exxon and Mobil. Whatever happens, the basic conflict is sure to sharpen.

In the recent Texaco racism scandal, the bigger bosses used their state power to eradicate Oil Patch forces at work inside an old-line company. Texaco’s New York board of directors have had trouble with some of their Texas-rooted executives since the company’s founding. In 1996 a number of employees charged two Texaco executives with discriminating against black workers and making KKK-style racist comments. Jesse Jackson, the Rockefeller brothers’ "Man of the Year" in 1978, drew national attention to a case that had already become federal. The executives were forced to resign and Texaco was fined. But Rockefeller and the US government don’t give a damn about stopping racism. Genocide, as in Vietnam or Iraq, and racist superexploitation of workers on every continent are their stock in trade. The Texaco executives’ real crime was cutting a deal with British Petroleum to sell Alaskan crude to Japan. This scheme would have seriously reduced Japanese dependence on Rockefeller, Inc.’s Mideast oil. It also would have raised Oil Patch hopes for expanding production in Alaska. A New York Times editorial later praised Texaco for canning the racists and for focusing again on "international matters."


An earlier version of the capitalist dogfight that centers on oil led to the Kennedy assassination. Kennedy’s cabinet reflected the Old Money interests he defended. Dean Rusk of the Rockefeller Foundation was Secretary of State. Robert MacNamara of Ford Motor headed the armed forces. McGeorge Bundy of Harvard and old Boston money advised on national security. Kennedy had two chief goals: countering the Soviet menace to US imperialism and keeping a lid on an economy that was about to boil over. Kennedy initiated genocide in Vietnam; at home, he waged a war for stable money. But the Kennedy program of low growth, low inflation, and high taxes that benefited the money-center banks crippled business owners who were just beginning to strike it rich, particularly oil field developers. Kennedy intended to abolish the Oil Depletion Allowance, which exempted a large part of oil well profits from taxes. To the wildcatters, the terms of the write-off were sacred. "Twenty-seven and a half percent of gross income up to fifty percent of net income, world without end, amen" intoned a US Senator (The Control of Oil, p. 192).

Whoever fired the fatal shot in Dallas, some facts cannot be disputed. Lyndon Johnson of Texas became president, and his first major act in office was to restore the depletion allowance. Jack Ruby, the man who prevented a public trial of Kennedy’s murder by killing Oswald, was a "business associate" of the Southwest’s leading independent oilman, H.L. Hunt, the David Koch of his day (Ruby, in fact, was Hunt’s pimp). Ruby had papers from Hunt in his pocket when he was arrested. Not incidentally, multi-billion dollar plans for a new headquarters for NASA suddenly shifted from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Houston. The Rockefeller wing had to get New Money out of the White House before it could take revenge. It accomplished its purpose in Watergate. The Ford-Rockefeller administration that followed Nixon abolished the Oil Depletion Allowance. Then in the late 1970s, when Hunt’s sons tried to get a foothold in finance by cornering the silver market, a group of banks led by Citicorp sued the Hunts for fraud and won such a devastating judgment that the Hunts had to sell their houses to pay it.

John Hinckley’s attempt to assassinate Reagan showed at least part of the Oil Patch striking back. The Hinckley family owned Vanderbilt Energy, an oil and gas exploration company based in Texas and Colorado. The Hinckleys socialized with George Bush, then a great benefactor of the Oil Patch. Hinckley himself belonged to a Nazi outfit in Texas, a prototype of the militias. Did visions of Jodie Foster really drive Hinckley to shoot Reagan? Or was it capitalist self-interest? The stalking story only backed up an insanity plea and ensured that no trial would take place. Reagan had won the Southwestern vote with the same sort of populist, fundamentalist claptrap that the Christian Coalition spouts today. But by the time Hinckley pulled the trigger, Reagan had clearly sold out to big business, and his Mideast policy was strangling firms like the Hinckleys’.


All capitalists protect their property by force of arms. The more powerful US bosses have a worldwide imperialist war machine that they hope can defend their sphere of influence from Russian, Chinese, European, and Japanese imperialists. But New Money’s main enemy is Old Money. Because the Establishment’s overseas war efforts harm them, the upstarts are stepping up their struggle for control of the US armed forces. The entire military apparatus, from the grand strategy of the Pentagon to the allegiance of the GIs, is at stake.

As Lenin demonstrated in Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism, the profit system makes war inevitable. Large blocs of capital organized as nations continually fight over markets and sources of labor and materials. Trade wars turn into shooting wars. To guard its shrinking slice of the globe, the US Establishment must be able not only to send troops anywhere but to mass decisive numbers of them on the ground where and when US might is threatened. With declining success, Rockefeller & Co. have followed this course since 1944.Vast armies occupying Western Europe and the Far East enabled the US Establishment to corner more than half the world’s trade briefly after World War II. All-out wars, however, couldn’t keep Exxon and GM from losing half of Korea and all of Vietnam. In Iraq, a US-led force 750,000-strong wiped out the equivalent of the population of Washington. But because the US land army retreated, Big Oil didn’t gain a single additional well. Establishment strategists now hope to correct that error with a second, permanent invasion.

The Oil Patch and their high-tech allies have not yet reached the stage where competing with foreign rivals is their paramount concern. They have little use for vast armed forces overseas. To watch over its foreign investments, which are growing fast but still tiny compared to Old Money’s, New Money for now depends on local bosses, usually Rockefeller foes, like Netanyahu in Israel and Kabila in the Congo. The upstarts apply what leverage they have over US military policy in favor of a shield of air defenses. Although New Money’s business outlook is hardly isolationist, the term fits its current military strategy.


During the Cold War, an umbrella of intercontinental ballistic missiles and Strategic Air Command bombers once served as the Establishment’s second tier of armed force--behind the troops in Europe--against the Soviet Union. New Money high-tech defense contractors profited from the Air Force’s purchases. But dwindling resources are leading Rockefeller & Co. to reduce, although by no means eliminate, their nuclear arsenal as they focus on a strategy for land war. The cuts hit hardest at the sophisticated but less immediately practical systems that New Money milks like cash cows. The fate of the B-1 bomber tells the story.

The Kennedy administration began the B-1 project in 1961 to counter the Soviet Union’s growing nuclear arsenal. Rockwell of California was to build a long-range craft that could deliver only nuclear weapons. An overriding need for conventional arms put the B-1 on hold during the Vietnam War. New Money’s champion Nixon revived it. Rockefeller protégé Carter canceled it. Paying off his West Coast backers, Reagan actually started building the B-1. Useless to the imperialists, the plane did not see action in Desert Storm, nor does it now fly over Iraq or Bosnia. The entire fleet idles in the US, half of it at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, where it pumps $300 million a year into the local economy.

But let us not misunderstand. The Rockefeller forces have not given up nuclear weapons. They were the first and only group to use them. John J. McCloy of Chase Manhattan directed the US bombing effort in World War II right through to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Two things will eventually lead the Establishment to play its nuclear trump card. First, there will be rebellions in the broad-based land army it hopes to assemble. Black, Latin, Asian, and white, female and male working-class youth will quickly see that Rockefeller’s interests are not theirs. But Rockefeller & Co.’s need to control its profit sources will not have changed. Like cornered rats, they will fight with everything they have, including nuclear arms. Second, a prolonged conflict with a secondary power like Iraq will at some time draw in major imperialists, like Russia and China. They will see their own vital interests at stake and can bring far superior forces to an Asian battlefield. The bigger US bosses keep nuclear missiles constantly aimed at Russia and China. When the chips are down, they will eventually fire them.


John Conyers, a liberal black Democrat who represents both Detroit and its wealthy suburbs has spoken out in Congress against "waste" and "fraud" in the B-1 project. What this tool of Ford, GM, and Chrysler objects to, in fact, is the Oil Patch’s unwillingness to back the Establishment’s next Persian Gulf war. The Big Three originally installed Conyers in office to win black workers to fight in Vietnam. He’s doing the same job today, as US troops prepare to invade the Persian Gulf region. But Oil Patch politicians attack the land-war concept. Fresh from a tour of the Mideast, Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska complained, "Military officers in command in the field cannot oblige our nation to long-term overseas expenditures or deployments" (Associated Press, 7/16/97).

"Star Wars" or the Strategic Defense Initiative has a similar history. In the last decade of the Cold War, top Air Force officers and West Coast high-tech tycoons came up with the idea of an impermeable network of missile defense that would sharply reduce the need for troops overseas. A book by Donald Baucom, The Origins of SDI (1992), identifies Joseph Coors as SDI’s leading civilian proponent. A Coors subsidiary sells sophisticated ceramic devices to the Air Force. Beyond lining his pockets from those sales, Coors hoped to diminish US influence in the Mideast. For years Coors has been trying to develop oil and gas reserves on its vast land holdings and has consistently been swatted down by the Rockefeller environmentalists. The stronger capitalists won out. Star Wars was a casualty of Desert Storm.

The Establishment deals with its critics inside the military harshly and swiftly. As the Pentagon geared up for Desert Storm, Gen. Michael J. Dugan, the Air Force Chief of Staff, announced, "The Joint Chiefs of Staff have concluded that US air power including a massive bombing campaign against Baghdad is the only effective option" (Washington Post, 9/16/90). Generals Schwarzkopf and Powell (a self-described Rockefeller Republican) had Dugan fired the next day.


In 1994 the Navy published an interview with Chief of Naval Operations Jeremy Boorda. In it Boorda called "dependence on imported oil" one of "four principal dangers." He further identified himself with New Money by saying, "you should not put troops on the ground unless they are commanded by US forces or by NATO command." Boorda envisioned the Navy conducting a sort of suborn Star Wars. He proposed building a fleet of "arsenal ships," with crews of 20 or so sailors, that would serve as launching pads for hundreds of long-range missiles. But the Rockefeller/Clinton camp needs a far different Navy, one that can help ferry hundreds of thousands of ground troops to the Persian Gulf. The second highest ranking Navy officer in the nation killed himself in 1996. Newsweek magazine was about to publish an article that could end Boorda’s meteoric career. It dealt with Boorda’s wearing of medals he had not earned--the naval equivalent of falsifying a resume. "Maybe he’ll put a gun to his head," mused the article’s author (AP 5/20/97). That Boorda fired through his heart didn’t bother East Coast bluebloods Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee, who own Newsweek through the Washington Post Co. When William Perry, Clinton’s defense secretary, pronounced Boorda’s eulogy, he made it clear that Old Money would not allow traitors to sabotage their oil wars. Perry began, not with kind words for the admiral, but with a moving parable about the warship Theodore Roosevelt’s deployment in the Persian Gulf .

Rockefeller & Co. well understand that oil comes out of the ground, not the air. Relying on air power won’t result in control of the Mideast’s oilfields. That’s the message of an article by Gen. William E. Odom that appeared the Rockefeller mouthpiece Foreign Affairs (July/August 1997). Odom stresses the need for ground troops: "The forward deployment of US forces in the Middle East, in Europe, and northeast Asia is no less critical now than it was during the Cold War." Mideast oil is his immediate target, "Pre-positioned equipment makes a lot of sense for the Persian Gulf area." Odom downplays the effectiveness of airpower in combat, "The overwhelming majority-- 70-80 percent-- of Iraqi tanks were destroyed by army tanks and attack helicopters, not by strategic or tactical aircraft." Odom urges the Navy to focus less on obsolescent aircraft carriers and more on "sealift capacity," transporting masses of troops and supplies. In Desert Storm, says Odom, the US outdid the Normandy invasion, moving more tonnage and personnel over the Atlantic in 1990-1991 than it had across the Channel in 1944. But Odom calls this triumph hollow. What took months could have been done in weeks, he says, if the Pentagon had invested in the right kind of ships and planes. Odom ends with a jab at the Oil Patch, "American retreat from forward ground force leads inexorably to disengagement and isolation." The Cato Institute calls its Mideast policy "Constructive Disengagement."


An editorial in the Air Force Times (5/12/97), a publication for career personnel, "lifers," summed up the dispute over how the next war will be fought:

A strange debate is going on now in the Pentagon. It is strange because the two sides are so far apart, yet they never publicly concede it is going on. The issue is one of bedrock importance to national security and deserves the fullest of airings. On one side are those who cling to the traditional -- some would say outdated -- belief that massive numbers of well-armed foot soldiers are the key to future military victories. The "muddy boot" disciples, currently led by Marine Gen. John Sheehan, the commander of the US Atlantic Command, discount the value of high-technology weapons systems. They insist that only soldiers on the ground can take and hold the enemy's land. Sheehan's views are important because he has emerged as a leading contender to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Army Gen. John Shalikashvili retires in the fall. Opposing that view are most of the top Air Force leaders. Their compelling argument is that increasingly it is and will be technology -- particularly space- and air-based technology -- that will provide future combatants with the decisive advantage. That technology will provide both instantaneous information about the battlefield and the ability to control the skies -- and space -- above it.

In many ways, top level Air Force commanders seem to be acting as hitmen for New Money. An Air Force court acquitted the Air Force captain responsible for downing two Army helicopters and killing 26 soldiers in Desert Storm. The Pentagon held an inquiry into the crash that killed Commerce secretary Ron Brown. It found the Air Force officers who let his plane take off in bad weather guilty of criminal disregard for safety. The upstarts loathe the Commerce Department because it helps established firms make deals abroad. Conservative representatives in the 104th Congress narrowed their pledge to shrink government to "kill just the Commerce Department (Drew, p.102). Another Pentagon panel singled out Air Force Gen. Terry Schwalier for neglecting precautions against the truck bomb that killed 19 servicemen in Saudi Arabia in 1996. Oil Patch allies cite the blast as a reason why the US should leave the Middle East.


In July 1997, the Air Force’s highest ranking general, Chief of Staff Ronald Fogleman resigned rather than punish Schwalier. Before walking out, Gen. Fogleman had discussed the matter with Alaska’s Senator Stevens, a harsh critic of the Pentagon’s Mideast operations. Defense secretary Cohen had two reactions. He decided to hold Schwalier responsible despite Fogleman’s protest. Then Cohen replaced Fogleman with a general whose support for a Mideast land war was unquestioned. Fogleman had a reputation as a Star Wars strategist. He was an "outspoken advocate of air power and the Air Force's ability to conduct warfare around the globe and even in space" (AP, 729/97). Fogleman’s replacement, Gen. Michael Ryan, won his land-war epaulets as an aide to Generals Powell and Shalikashvili, who had masterminded the Desert Storm invasion. Later Ryan headed the Air Force’s European command. Its main mission is to back up US ground troops in Germany and, now, in Bosnia.

The Air Force owes its separate existence to Southwestern arms and electronics makers who got rich in World War II and richer still in the Cold War. With its emphasis on bombers and missiles that strike from afar, it a has proved the least adapted of the services to the Establishment’s imperialist designs. The Air Force seems to be uniting with the militias as New Money’s military arm. Jesse Helms’ 1996 warning that Clinton "better have a bodyguard" when he visits bases in North Carolina (mentioned in NYT, 8/2/97) reflects a military split from top to bottom. In 1995, a lowly soldier named Michael New became the poster boy of the Koch camp by refusing to don a UN uniform. In Congress, Representatives Helen Chenoweth of Idaho, a militia sympathizer, and ultraconservative Tom DeLay of Texas co-sponsored a bill protecting servicemen who conscientiously objected to wearing UN uniforms. The Oil Patch’s paramilitary has taken up the cause. "An undercover investigation of militia activity led to the arrests of seven people accused of plotting to attack American military bases they believed were training UN troops," began an AP dispatch (7/23/97). Two of the seven planned to bomb the Army’s Ft. Hood in Texas.


The battle for control of the armed forces goes beyond strategy and tactics. Who should be in the military in the first place? and the very much related question, What ideology will they fight for? are in hot dispute. Gen. Fogleman had drawn up in 1996 a "Little Blue Book outlining "core values" he wanted instilled in his cadre. According to the Air Force Times (2/23/97), "changing demographics that will require the Air Force to draw its members from a more sociologically and economically diverse pool," worried the general. Without using the words, black, latin, white, or conservative Christian, a retired officer explained what Fogleman meant, "If you grow up in a single-parent family and are raised on the streets, you have values -- street values. If you are raised in a two-parent family that goes to church every Sunday, you have very different values." The crusade against adultery in the Air Force that torpedoed Gen. James Ralston, Clinton’s choice to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Lt. Kelly Flinn, the Air Force’s first female bomber pilot, goes back to Fogleman’s little blue bible. It thundered at "adulterous fraternization." Fogleman pines for a lily-white, all-male Air Force whose members heed the preaching of Oil Patch evangelists like Don Hodel and Ralph Reed. But Fogleman’s ex-boss Clinton touts a "fully integrated" military.

US imperialists need forces large enough for World War III and therefore the loyalty of black workers, who form an essential segment of the labor force. "We must have the full use of the total personnel power of the nation," Army General Willard Paul told Congress in 1948 (Linda Bird Francke, Ground Zero, 1997, p. 24). So the bigger bosses take an equal opportunity approach to mass murder and get help from civil rights, feminist, and other liberal movements. The NAACP celebrates the 50th anniversary of the integration of the services under Harry Truman, who dropped the A-bomb on Japanese civilians. Clinton salutes the black airmen of World War II. Colin Powell, former head butcher in Rockefeller’s Iraq slaughterhouse, takes his rags-to-riches act on the road to lure black youth into the barracks. Next on the imperialists’ agenda comes making the military more friendly to women--before they go off to war. Cheered on by the National Organization for Women and the major media, the high command punishes the officers responsible for Tailhook and sergeants who rape. And pressure from the Clinton White House finally compels the Citadel and the Virginia Military Institute to instruct women in the arts of killing for Rockefeller’s profit. Unemployment and the Immigration Service are steering young immigrants who hope for citizenship straight to the enlistment office.


The armed forces, however, seem to be slipping from the Establishment’s grasp. Thomas E. Ricks, who follows military affairs for the Wall Street Journal, wrote a revealing article, "The Widening Gap Between the Military and Society," that appeared in the July, 1997, issue of the Atlantic Monthly. "Open identification with the Republican Party is becoming the norm," warned Ricks, "and the few remaining liberals in uniform tend to be colonels and generals." Mid-level brass identify with the Koch wing of the GOP, "the junior officer corps, apart from its female and minority members, appears to be overwhelmingly hard-right Republican and largely comfortable with the views of Rush Limbaugh." Ricks observes a breakdown in the command structure, "civilians are now apparently less able to get the military to do what they want them to do than they were during the Cold War."

Some commanders, says Ricks, are beginning to consider Rockefeller liberals, rather than Iraqi or Iranian oil bosses, as their main enemy. "In a December, 1994, article in the Marine Corps Gazette, William S. Lind, a military analyst who has been influential in the doctrinal thinking of the post-Cold War Marines, wrote with two Marine reservists that American culture is ‘collapsing.’" They decry the "multiculturalism" pushed by the "elite" in the universities and media at the expense of "our Judeo-Christian" culture." The Wall Street Journal’s man finds dire portents in "the conclusion that Lind and his co-authors drew: ‘The next real war we fight is likely to be fought on American soil.’ "

The Establishment can’t automatically count on the loyalty of black workers in its coming wars. Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam movement has shown an ability to build a pro-boss, anti-Eastern Establishment base both within and outside the military. The Black Muslims’ history of uniting with Rockefeller’s foes dates back to the eve of World War II (see accompanying article on the NOI). The Japanese, in the 1930s, established a connection with the Black Muslim movement led by Elijah Muhammad. Japan’s agent, a Major Takashashi, succeeded in persuading a splinter group of Black Muslims known as the Development of Our Own to rally behind the cause of the emperor. In a 1942 raid, the FBI arrested twelve black leaders, including Elijah Muhammad, for allegedly seditious activities. (John W. Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War, 1986, pp. 173-175.)

Just as Elijah Muhammad had welcomed alliances with imperialist rivals of the US, Farrakhan has developed ties with Islamic nationalists who are in political and economic conflict with Rockefeller & Co. Libyan leader Khaddafi has made substantial donations to the Nation of Islam. Libyan oil is now mainly under Italian and French control and thus competes with the US majors’ Persian Gulf empire. Texas oilman H.L. Hunt, one of Farrakhan’s strangest bedfellows, owned Libya’s biggest oil concessions until Exxon and Mobil’s machinations drove Khaddafi to kick all the US firms out. Led by Farrakhan and others, close to a million black workers took part in the Million Man March. Their willingness to fight for US Big Oil can rightly be questioned. That’s probably what Farrakhan told Khaddafi when he flew to Libya right after the march. Today the Nation of Islam organizes at military bases around the US

Only a shared, fundamental opposition to the main wing of the US ruling class can explain the Nation of Islam’s links to open racists. In 1960, H.L. Hunt began donating to the Nation of Islam in order to foster a dialogue among the Nation, the Ku Klux Klan, and the American Nazi Party. The reigning king of the wildcatters hoped that separatism, racist and nationalist, would counter the campaign to transform workers’ struggles against racism into the pro-Establishment civil rights movement. This unholy alliance against the Rockefeller camp’s hold on state power continues. In October 1985, leaders of several white supremacist organizations met at a farm 50 miles northwest of Detroit, where during a "unity conference," they "announced their support for Mr. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam." Present were leaders of various Nazi, KKK, Christian Patriot, Posse comitatus, and militia groups from all regions of the US ( Washington Times, Nov. 5, 1985).


Continual imperialist conflicts worsen tensions between Old and New Money. In the early 1980's, US rulers still saw the state capitalist bosses of the Soviet Union as their fiercest competitors. Demonizing it as the "evil empire," the Reagan Administration, devoted itself to hastening the collapse of the USSR Old money suffered from the spread of Soviet influence, and Old Money reigned in Reagan’s White House, despite his cowboy image. His Secretary of State, Al Haig, had most recently sat at David Rockefeller’s right hand on the board of Chase Manhattan. Treasury’s Donald Regan came straight from Merrill Lynch. Defense boss Weinberger had worked to elect Nelson Rockefeller president.

Reagan’s strategy for undermining the Soviets included arming the rebels in Afghanistan, secretly aiding the Solidarity movement in Poland, and driving down oil prices. Every one-dollar reduction in the price of oil would deprive the Soviets of $1 billion in hard currency income. To effect the price rigging, which Weinberger called "economic warfare," the US needed the cooperation of the Saudis, the world’s biggest oil exporters.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan terrified the Saudi royal family, who were certain that their own oil-drenched realm was Moscow’s ultimate objective. The old watchdog Iran was now lost to the US-Saudi cause. So US bosses got into the protection racket. The Saudis would pump more oil, lowering prices, in return for US military muscle like state-of-the-art fighters and AWACS planes. More importantly, in April 1981, Weinberger announced that the Pentagon was beefing up Jimmy Carter’s Rapid Deployment Force into the 300,000-troop-strong US Central Command. CENTCOM would have the same mission as the RDF, safeguarding Mideast oil fields for Big Oil.

Saving Riyadh savaged Houston. Third-generation wildcatter Glenn McCarthy remarked, "The deal [the Reagan Administration] made with the Saudis to keep the price of oil down in return for military protection...was to the direct damage and detriment of the domestic oil industry. They admit they knew at the time that it was going to cause severe damage to the industry" ( The Oil Makers, p. 135). By early 1986, cargoes of crude from the Persian Gulf were selling for $6 a barrel, down from almost $40 in 1980. Petroleum analysts calculated that any price below $10 "would stop development investment for the bulk of US oil." According to Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize, "the new consensus was evident in the United States--in the government, on Wall Street, in banks, among economic forecasters. The gains from falling oil prices (higher growth and lower inflation) would outweigh the losses (the problems of the energy industries and the Southwest)" (p. 760).


Vice President George Bush rescued the Oil Patch allies from annihilation at the hands of the bankers. In April 1986, he met secretly without Reagan’s approval with both the king of Saudi Arabia and its oil minister, Sheik Yamani. Since the Soviet threat was waning, Bush got the Saudis to agree to raising prices, which would, of course also raise their revenues. By June, Yamani was at Harvard University delivering a major speech in which he preached "stability" at $15 a barrel. Domestic producers could now squeak by.

Bush tried to play the ultimately impossible role of mediator between the Establishment and the Oil Patch. The son of a partner in New York’s most prestigious private bank, Brown Brothers Harriman, Bush leapt into the Texas oil boom that followed World War II. His job was to spread the wealth and head off the kind of strife that had erupted into armed conflict a generation before. Big Oil and the independents fought gun battles over East Texas pipelines during the Depression-caused glut. Bush provided Hugh Liedkte with capital for an oil and gas drilling outfit called Zapata Exploration. (But when Liedkte decided to go national by starting Pennzoil, Bush broke with him.) In the opulent profits-for-all days of the 1950's, oil bosses of all stripes-- Bush, Getty, the Hunts, Howard Hughes-- co-existed in Texas in relative peace with the majors.

As president, Bush continued to soothe the Oil Patch. He expanded the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to 1 billion barrels under a special provision to buy from wells producing 15 barrels a day or less. He doled out $2.5 billion in tax breaks for US oil and gas exploration. Establishment critics dubbed Bush’s energy policy "Drain America First." Pressed by Congress to sell off 10 million barrels from the strategic reserve in order to lower prices, Bush refused. Tellingly, Bush vowed to open the ANWR to drillers, but never did.


Bush’s inability to keep a foot indefinitely in both camps led directly to Desert Storm. Plans for that war originated with Jimmy Carter, like Clinton a Rockefeller protégé. After US rulers had lost Iran, Carter proclaimed, "Any attempt by an outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force." As part of an overall military buildup under Carter, the Rapid Deployment Force was created and began desert training. When Saddam Hussein first threatened to seize Kuwait’s oil fields in 1990, Bush seemed perfectly willing to let him. Bush sent his Ambassador April Glaspie to Baghdad that Summer to tell Hussein, "we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts’ like your border disagreement with Kuwait."

Iraq’s subsequent invasion brought the Oil Patch a very short-lived windfall. Prices shot up beyond $40 a barrel but dropped as soon as the first preparations for war had gotten under way. But the owners of Exxon, Mobil, and Texaco could not and would not let Bush give away a key source of their profits. Sometime between summer and fall, Old Money reasserted its control over White House policy. US bombs began falling in January 1991. By February, a US-led force of 700,000 troops was inflicting inhuman horror on working-class Iraqi soldiers and civilians. US planes systematically murdered fleeing Iraqis with gasoline bombs. US officers had plowblades put on tanks to bury Iraqi soldiers alive in their foxholes. Attaching no value to the lives of the 500,000 Iraqis it killed, the Pentagon put a $100 billion price tag on the war. "Allies" coughed up half. Afterwards, the Establishment made Bush pay for his costly wavering. It ran Ross Perot against him in the 1992 election to split the conservative vote and ensure a Clinton victory.


Various factions of US bosses have been at each other’s throats since 1776. Southern plantation owners and Northern bankers, merchants, and manufacturers united to break away from British bosses, but fierce conflicts kept erupting. They bickered constantly about monetary policy. Slave owner Jefferson of Virginia bankrupted many merchants in Boston and New York by slapping an embargo on US shipping. When the two sides could not agree that wage slavery was more profitable than the old kind, they fought the Civil War, the bloodiest North America has ever seen.

Although we cannot predict in exact detail how the current battle will unfold, the sides are well defined, and it’s clearly getting more vicious. As New Money gains strength, we could see the growth of militias and more Oklahomas or even worse violence from fighting within the military. Old Money will try by force to keep the upper hand. While armed conflict within the US looms as a distinct possibility, imperialist war remains a certainty. Workers’ lives are at stake in any case. Every day draws Rockefeller, Inc. unavoidably closer to a land war in the Middle East, probably first with Iraq. The US is more isolated and its foes better prepared than ever. Casualties will make Desert Genocide seem tame; the next oil war could quickly turn nuclear. Even if it doesn’t, antagonisms with first-rate imperialists like Russia, Japan, and China, over oil and other sources of profit, are sharpening into direct confrontations that sooner or later will break out into nuclear world war.

In the past, a Marxist-Leninist approach has enabled our Party to analyze important events. The PLP exposed the Kennedy assassination for what it was, not a tragedy or the work of a few isolated head cases, but New Money rubbing out an Old Money chief. We told workers that the wicked witch was not dead when Watergate drove Nixon out; Rockefeller had simply regained control. We revealed that GM and other Establishment forces had spawned the movement against nuclear power. We showed that the US mission to Somalia had nothing to do with humanitarian aid and everything to do with strategic oil shipping lanes. More recently, we point out that the strike at UPS mainly involved, not workers’ hours, but a struggle among bosses to wield the investment clout of the Teamsters’ $60 billion pension fund. Our purpose has not been merely to provide good information. Using this kind of information, we have been able to organize tens of thousands to fight for communism, while others sold out to "lesser evil" politicians, union hacks, and Establishment-led "anti-war" and environmental movements.

History shows that workers can seize power during the bosses’ imperialist and civil wars. But only if they see and understand these conflicts as they develop, will workers be prepared to fight. Armed with an a communist analysis and led by a communist party--the PLP is the only one now in existence--workers will transform a bosses’ war for profit into a war for workers’ dictatorship and communism.

NOTE: The cultural and ideological aspects of the bosses’ fight lie outside the scope of the present piece. A future article will look into the ways the two main factions use the media, education, religion, and other means of persuasion. What, for example, are the two distinct forms of racism pushed on workers? Who owns the universities and how does what’s taught in them benefit one side or the other? What’s behind the dogfights over the media? Why are serious rifts developing in every major religion? What’s the class content of the battle raging over national standards in education?